Sunday, December 8, 2013

Vienna in 24 hours!

We went to Vienna partly because it had always been in our plans, and partly because we found a cheap flight to Turkey from there. We arrived on the train from Budapest at 2pm and needed to leave for the airport at 2pm the next day. In our 24 hours in Vienna, we saw much much more than our 9 days in Budapest!

Wienerschintzel at Flugmuller
Going in on such short time constraints, we made a list of why we wanted to go to Vienna and, oddly enough, those reasons all revolved around food. Specifically, foods with “Vienna” in the name: Wienerschnitzel, Viennese Coffee, Viennese Chocolate, Wieners... We had our work cut out for us!

We started with lunch at Flugmuller, a spot that’s been serving up huge schnitzels since 1906. As we were now in a Euro country (not such a good exchange rate for us!), we shared one (gigantic!) wienerschnitzel, one side of salad and a small carafe of white wine for $44 (!!). But it was delicious!

Next up, Viennese hot chocolate, Viennese coffee and apfelstrudel at Cafe Sacher, started by the inventor of the Sacher Torte. Sitting in a cosy window of the cafe sipping the most delicious hot chocolate as the sun went down and the lights came on over the opera house was a lovely way to spend one of our 24 hours. We were planning on going to the Opera, but when we got there, it turned out it was the same opera we saw 2 nights earlier in Budapest!

We meandered a bit more and found ourselves at the Crown Jewels, at the Treasury in the Hofburg Palace. It was a lovely (though pricey!) exhibit, with highlights including Napoleon’s baby's basinette, an 8 foot unicorn horn, a chunk of the cross Jesus was crucified on (nail hole and all), John the Baptist’s tooth, a piece of the Last Supper tablecloth, a shred of Jesus' loincloth, and a piece of wood from his manger. Quite the Christian artifacts!

CW fm left: Napoleon's baby's basinette, a piece of the True Cross, John the Baptist's tooth in a fancy gold box, a super sparkly sceptre, and Austria's crown.
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking through the palace grounds and parks, marveling at how grand Vienna is. You can absolutely see that this city was the center of a major empire.


That evening, while walking across Stephansplatz, we heard music and saw people going into the St Stephens Cathedral. We enjoyed some time in the back of the beautiful cathedral during the evening mass. Amazing how much we prefer to see churches when they are in use, with music, life and purpose.

Before heading to the airport the next day, we shared a lunch of wieners and little sandwiches with mini beer (another Viennese specialty!). What an incredible and memorable Viennese day!

Tips for your 24 hour trip to Vienna:
- If you are truly in town for exactly 24 hours, you can save a ton of money on a 24 hour transit pass. It will save your walking legs and we were able to get to the airport on just a 2 euro supplement to our passes.
- Being Sunday, many shops and museums were closed. If you can avoid being there on a Sunday, do so!

More photos of our day in Vienna:


Vienna, a set on Flickr.

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